High school students from the SALT program at Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream (OCC) recently had a chance to attend the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Career Expo at Fermilab in Batavia. In addition to Fermilab scientists and engineers, the expo featured professionals from several local companies and research organizations. Students were encouraged to talk one-on-one with professionals working in their fields of interest.

“This was a great opportunity for us to expose our students to STEM careers,” says Lauren Maher, OCC College Coach. “The students had a great time talking with scientists, engineers and technicians at the event. All of the professionals were so enthused to share information about their professions, which made our students more excited about the different STEM careers.”

The students expressed interest in a variety of jobs, including death investigation, civil engineering, computer engineering, chemical engineering and flavor chemistry. Morenike Fatuga, junior in the SALT program, said, “I could see myself pursuing a career in flavor chemistry because it involves chemistry and food, and I’m interested in both fields—but I never knew a career like that even existed!”

Morenike’s classmates had similar reactions to the event. “Almost every student was able to identify a career he or she was interested in learning more about,” says Lauren, “and that was just awesome.”